[Lingtyp] linguistic endogamy worldwide

Michael Daniel misha.daniel at gmail.com
Sat Nov 15 13:33:24 UTC 2014

Dear all,

this may seem a slightly off-topic query for this mailing list. (And it
is.) Yet as many of the subscribers work in traditional societies, I
thought this would be a rather direct way to find what we are looking for.
Could you let us know of languages (or linguistic areas) where linguistic
endogamy is practiced. By linguistic endogamy I mean the practice of
marrying to the speakers of the same language (the same village). I am only
interested in such cases for minority languages (especially one-village
languages or lects).

It would be also very helpful if, in addition to answering this query, you
could provide us with a reference to the discussion of the relevant facts. In
fact, this seems a very evident question for language ecology, yet we are
unaware of studies focusing on linguistic endogamy. There is a lot of
recent discussion of linguistic exogamy, e.g.: Aikhenvald 2003, Franҫois
2012 - among others. For linguistic endogamy, we are only aware of Comrie

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2003. Language contact and language change in
Amazonia. In: Aterdam studies in the theory and history of linguistic
science series 4 (2003): 1-20.
Comrie 2008. Linguistic Diversity in the Caucasus. Annual Review of
Anthropology 37: 131-143.
François, Alexandre. 2012. The dynamics of linguistic diversity:
Egalitarian multilingualism and power imbalance among northern Vanuatu
languages. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 214, 85-110.

The reason behind this question is as follows: in Daghestan, language
communities we have data for used to practice a more or less strict
linguistic endogamy, including one-village languages. Reports of other
areas of great density that we happened to hear lately - which are however
confined to Pacific and Australia - describe situations with a more or less
consistent linguistic exogamy. We would be interested in getting a more
world-scale picture of the distribution of these patterns, and eventually
to look into the patterns of neighbour bilingulism in endogamous speech
communities and to compare them with what we know about Daghestan.

Michael Daniel
also on behalf of Nina Dobrushina
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